Ode to Brutalism

Blackbird

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1975 rendering of the Lahey Hospital's new campus out in Burlington... sharing not so much because the architecture is noteworthy but more for the mood that a black and white rendering of an institutional behemoth as filtered through a gritty, faded newspaper print can create. IMO it doesn't get much more big, bad brutalist seventies than this



From Burlington Retro
Why would you want a hospital of all things to look so menacing and uninviting?

Government buildings I can understand, but not this.
 

Roxxma

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Why would you want a hospital of all things to look so menacing and uninviting?

Government buildings I can understand, but not this.
Maybe that's why it wasn't approved the first time it was brought up at Town Meeting in the early 70s (though a lot of opposition at the time was due to local support for Woburn's Choate Hospital and Winchester Hospital.. In the end, it didn't end up looking a whole like that. It was a just as bland, but turned out to be a somewhat symmetrical, less menacing building built into the hillside (a good change from many hospitals which are the result of add-ons and end up with very confusing floor plans. When it was expanded in the 90s, the extension built-the third segment, closest to 128 with the void underneath and signage- looked like it was built with the original two segment building). Burlington Retro, by the way, is one of the better local history sites I've seen.
 

stefal

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BTW, the newly elected Mayor of Boston loves City Hall. Let her know if you want a tour...
1636073756644.png


I still think the plaza is the major offender and the building would be better complemented by a well-designed one, and I love Sasaki's work, but fear we won't see something that helps the building.
 

Beton Brut

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DBM

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Hm, that's an oddly reasonable, informative, and engaging piece by him--at least, as compared to the snarky, bile-drenched nothingburgers, strewn with gratuitous potshots,* he spewed out while at B&T.

To be fair, his targets at that time--the BPDA/Menino Administration/exasperatingly NIMBYite suburban zoning boards--were immensely deserving of the criticism. But the way he did it was so vapidly "hot take", devoid of informed research/argumentation, as to make the pieces hate-reads and perfect examples of how "not to do it."


*(almost as bad as Howie Carr in that regard, perhaps)
 

Charlie_mta

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As has been said by several on AB before, brutalism took a bad rap in Boston because of its accidental association with the carpet-bombing 1960s urban renewal Government Center project. It's necessary to separate out City Hall from its unfortunate setting in a vast empty plaza gouged out of a once vibrant city core area.
 

bdurden

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BeyondRevenue

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Arlington

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St Paul's Lutheran, Route 2 Hilltop, Arlington has this little brutalist/modernist gem on the original "Concord Turnpike" street which nobody sees ever since the expressway Route 2 cut through the hilltop and the old street became an access road
(on the North/Arlington side of Rt 2, opposite the Mormon Temple; map linked below)

St-Paul-Lutheran-Church.png

(from Google Streetview)


IMG_1500.JPG
 

Charlie_mta

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St Paul's Lutheran, Route 2 Hilltop, Arlington has this little brutalist/modernist gem on the original "Concord Turnpike" street which nobody sees ever since the expressway Route 2 cut through the hilltop and the old street became an access road (on the North/Arlington side of Rt 2, opposite the Mormon Temple; map linked below)
Concrete ages horribly in this climate, with a lot of drainage related staining. Painting old concrete has worked well on the remaining section of the GC Garage. I'd recommend it on St Paul's Lutheran as well but with a lighter color. Here's the painted portion of the GC Garage (photo by Beeline):

 
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